Of… Garlic / Regina Coyula
Regina Coyula, Translator: Unstated
A single presentation was applauded last Thursday at the event held by
the magazine Temas (Topics). It was that of the young engineer Carlos
Fernandez-Aballi Altamirano, professor at the Polytechnic University
(CUJAE). This young man explained his experience — or rather his bad
experience — as "a self-employed" in the production of dehydrated
garlic. At first it made me smile, but after his presentation I
approached him. Loquacious and passionate, what is most notable is his
creative intelligence. He talked about the frequent attempts to
implement modern technology in underdeveloped countries as if they had
the same conditions as exist in the First World. To make them workable
in an environment like ours seems to be his inspiration.
Fernandez-Aballí is 28 and received his doctorate in Bristol, England.
While still a student he won two international awards, and then a third,
in Cuba, providing him funding from the Spanish Agency for Iberoamerican
Cooperation for to build 100 houses using rice husks, among other
materials. I'm not capable of repeating the technical explanation of the
advantages of rice husks, but it was convincing. This project failed
because the authorities of the municipality where the homes would have
been built never responded to the proposal. But this guy is not of those
who is daunted. He prepared the feasibility study, especially
considering what it costs to import garlic powder for cooking, and with
two other friends, he started up the production of dehydrated garlic,
granules or powder.
Production has been a success. The product satisfies quality and hygiene
standards, but when I asked where it was marketed, Carlos surprised me
saying that he could not sell it in the farmers markets, although the
price is affordable and the presentation attractive, because… There is
no space available for this product. At this point, a suitcase full of
samples to give away, was empty.
As long as there are people like this, nothing is lost. Remember this name.
June 4 2012